Updated June 3rd
Please note I have had to change my email address , which now is laurie.manser@gmail.com please use  this if you wish to contact me.
I do hope that some of the hints will be of use to you, I can only say what I do and why I do it
 as , there is not a right or wrong way of doing things in gardening .
I did write a small book about my life from a garden boy in the 40's and we sold it when I did my "Memory" talk, we donated 50p per book to the British Heart Foundation who received over £1000.00 as a result. I do not get it printed now but on the right is a link by which you can download it to read.
I have been asked to put my talk on to a disc for those who have been unable to hear it, I have done this and a few discs are available ,please email me for details.
At the bottom of this page if you click on "older posts" there are more hints

Garden Hints for June

Garden Hints for June
What a strange Spring we have had, they were asking to pump water into Bewl as it was so low and the next thing, we are almost praying for it  to stop.
Make sure that your potatoes have been well earthed up so as to avoid those close to the surface going green. Runner and French beans can be planted along with sweet corn and any other plants that you have started in the greenhouse such as marrows and cucumbers. When hoeing around carrots if you can move some soil to cover the tops it will help avoid the green top that often occurs. Some early crops of broad beans, lettuce and such can be harvested; if the tips are removed with broad beans this can help clear small attacks of black fly.
If you are growing tomatoes in grow bags do be careful with the watering as it is easy to keep them too wet or too dry and irregular watering is often the cause of  blossom ends rot when you get a hard black part where the flower was on the fruit. 
The late frost in April may have damaged the foliage of your potatoes but hopefully by now they have recovered. If your garden or allotment is close to your house you can reduce any damage by spraying with cold water but it must be from a tub not from an inside tap.
Annuals that were sown where they are to flower will need thinning to get the best from them. Any plants growing in containers or baskets will need careful watering and if you have not used slow release fertilizers will also need feeding.
Once sweet peas come into bloom they need to be picked as soon as they are out so as not to put a strain on the plant and stop other flowers forming.
Roses can benefit from a feed of high potash food which can be hoed into the surface. The foliage should be left as long as possible on spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils so as to build up the bulbs for next year. Please try and avoid tying the foliage in knots as this defeats the purpose for which nature put it there.
Sweet peas need to be kept cut so that seed does not form and stop the flowering, if you are growing them as cordons they will need frequent tying and tendrils removed. 
Regular mowing with the blades not too low during May and June will give a good base to the lawn, a light feed of lawn fertilizer will keep the grass growing and help against moss. Do not however apply this in dry hot weather as you can burn the grass.

Sweet peas

Thse are my first bunch picked 25th May which is right as I usually pick chelsea week.
I went to my allotment this morning to check after hard frost. pleased to see sweet peas still looking good. They were sown on 8th October last year.

Potatoes ready for planting after at least ten weeks chitting, I will plant them on the flat so that I have plenty of soil for earthing up  and the potatoes grow through the centre of the ridge rater than come out of the side.

2018 Sweetpeas

I sowed my sweetpeas on October 8th as I have done for many years, I have good germination 48 seedlings out of 50 seeds. I think there might be one or two to come up yet. They are looking rather drawn as with no garden or greenhouse I am very limited as to where to put them. I must single them out within a few days.
I have just singled the sweet peas into root trainers, there are 51 from 50 purchased seeds. They always allow one or two extras.

The second picture taken on Jan. 6th show sweet peas breaking with out being stopped , they are been outside ever since they were put into root trainers

My latest picture taken on March 28th shows plants now, planted hoping weather stays good.
waiting to be planted once the ground is suitable.

more onion news

More pictures to show the progress pf my onion sets. Top two taken 14th April

Onion sets just starting to  show, I plant well down in the soil so that no trouble with birds, having got rid of white rot I get a good crop.

Onion 2016


I am putting these pictures onto my website to show the effect of using garlic powder for white rot. When I first took over this plot I suffered a complete loss of my onion crop due to white rot, I have treated this area with garlic powder and this year they really do look good. I just need some sun to help ripen them up.

Sweet peas

It has been a bad year for me with sweet peas, I decided to try saving my own seed last year and this has been very reasonable but when I planted the plants back in March ,  the very next day we had storm Katie. This almost blew them out of the ground but enough survived to amke  best part of a row. As they came into flower I had bud drop plus a spell in hospital, this meant I had to let the plants go for about a week meaning bent stems. However when show day came I managed one vase of ten, these were good enough to bet  best in show so I still hold the cup which I forst won 42 years ago. I have not had it every year but will keep trying.

Some of my seedling daffodils

These are 3 of my seedlings that I have registered and named over the years. I have had prizes at London shows with them including "Best" in section with Ann's Blush. We also have Molly Ann named after our grand daugther
Top bloom Ann's White , bottom left Ann's Cream.and bottom right Ann.s Blush

Broad Beans 2016

Thess last two photos were taken on May 8th, the row is not complete as I lost a few in the bad storm but should get a good crop before the blackfly start
In past years I have sown my Aquadulce broad beans direct in the round in Oct/Nov but this year as the ground was very wet and in the past I have lost some to the mice etc. I have tried starting them in a tray. I have no greenhouse now so they have been in a cold frame. They are now ready for planting out and look quite good.

broad beans 2014/15

Broad Beans now in flower , they came through the winter very well.
Some of my Aqaudulce broadbeans , I sow in late October as they are a good hardy variety to stand the winter.  Sometimes they get damaged with servere frost but even then they will break at soil level.

Had some sucess at our show  Saturday April 11th. Many varieties were not out but using those that were I won 4 trophies along with 10 first prizes. I am very pleased as they are all grown on my allottment now having lost our agrden when we moved from the tied house. The pink trumpet is called Pink Silk.

Daphne in bloom , grown from seed

Daphne in bloom , grown from  seed

Top picture shows ready to plant early March

Now ready to plant early March

There seems to be a lot of chat about if we should chit seed potatoes ready to plant or not. I always say there are  many different ways of doing things in gardening, but just looking at the alterantives. If you do not  chit you have to  leave the poatoes in the bag which will give you  long weak shoots whereas the shoots are much better if laid  out, so I chit as in the photos.  I bought these just before  Christmas and they will not be planted for some long time yet. The larger ones will be cut when I plant them.

Onion White rot

I have mentioned before about having white rot in my onions and treating the soil with garlic powder.
I still had white rot badly this year (2014) but reading that others seemed to have more success I thought I would try once more. I am not sure where I got the garlic powder last year but when I got some more this year as used for horses it smelt a lot stronger than last years, so I have once more treaeted the soil and will see what happens next year.

Black Berries and sweet peas

I did post a picture of the large flowers on my blackberry canes , now I have started picking some very nice large blackberries
A fortnight ago I had some success with my sweet peas that I now grow on the allotment, four first prizes with one cup, one medal and a certificate.

Had to thin some of my gooseberries this morning, this is their first year but the branches were touching the ground. I did buy from a  fruit nursery so that they were lifted one day and I planted them with a little "root grow" the next day.

Spring Show 2014

We managed to put a few entries into the LGA show, Ann got best flower arrangemant and I got the Henry Reader Cup for the best vase of trumpets. I did stage a vase of 3 "MollyAnn" but only got a second.

"Molly Ann" a variety that we have registered with the RHS and Daffodil Society named after our grand daughter.

Managed to win the six vase class and a few others, the single bloom is Bravoure quite a nice 1w/y.
The top photo is top to bottom left to right. Achduart,Estrella, Privateer,Golden Aura,Gold Finger and

Cutting flowers for flower shows

We try to get members to cut their flowers early for shows but many do not think this is possible so I thought I would show how I manage now that we live in a flat and all my flowers are grown on the allotment some 3/4 mile away. The top picture are flowers cut ready for Saturday's show at Bidborough , today is Wednesday, the lower picture are the flowers I used last Saturday at Pembury, they where nearly all cut the previous Sunday as we were going away for a couple of days. Some of the lower ones may be used again this Saturday.

ready to start begonias

I have just got my begonia corms out ready to start. I would if I had some heat etc. have done this some time ago but now I have to make the best I can. Some of these tubers are over 25 years old.

start of the New Year

 Nice sprouts now forming on my seed potatoes but not sure when the ground will dry out enough to think of planting

 Bought some seed potatoes yesterday so have laid them out ready for sprouting. Picked sprouts and purple sprouting this morning on the allotment also managed to weed daffodils ready for a feed of Vitax Q4.This picture was taken mid January